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Bat-horses

and Bat-men. Bat-horses are those which carry officers' baggage during a campaign (French, bât, a pack-saddle). Bat-men are those who look after the pack-horses.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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More on Bat-horses from Infoplease:

  • Bat-horses - Bat-horses and Bat-men. Bat-horses are those which carry officers' baggage during a campaign ...
  • Dictionary of Phrase and Fable: B - Definitions, origins, and illustrative excerpts for words, phases, and literary allusions starting with "B"

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